Are your kids still presenting their very best at school? From a behavioral lens, there are two critical assessment periods: Around mid October, following 4-6 weeks from the start of school, the “initial honeymoon” tends to wane. As an education advocate, this is when the emails start to pile up. The second check-in point immediately follows the two-week holiday period; this is when you really get a sense how your child feels about their self and school.

 So I am sending this message as a heads-up / something to consider looking forward: If your son or daughter presents a struggle returning back to school following the two-week break, then it’s something to take seriously. And consider meeting with the staff or IEP Team (if you have a special education supported child).

 Also, if your child is supported by an IEP, this first two-week break presents an essential assessment data point for students who typically REGRESS following a lengthy break (drop skills due to the break from the routine of school). If your child tends to fall by the wayside due to the time away from school, then, the post-holiday period presents critical data, especially when you are considering extending school through the summer via what’s called ESY [“extended school year”].

Something to consider: If your child struggles through a two week session away from school, then one can clearly imagine what this would look like during an 8-12 week summer vacation period. So the data collected; whether is be academic, attendance, behavioral, or other measurements, are essential following the December holiday break.  And in some situations, the ESY programs provide essential support to maintain growth throughout the year.